Speaking in a lecture titled, “The unraveling of Boko Haram and the rebuilding of the North-East of Nigeria” which he delivered at the Harvard University’s Weatherland Centre for International Affairs, United States, he said it was not until the abduction of more than 200 secondary schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok that public outrage against Jonathan’s government’s inept handling of the insurgency reached its peak.
He also added that the government then incurred widespread anger when it denied that an abduction took place and suggested that the opposition had simply invented the story.
He also recalled that when was formed, the then ruling party was also quick to paint it (APC) as
He said it was not until President Muhammadu Buhari who was then the leader of the opposition, was nearly killed in an attack in Kaduna that the false narrative by PDP that the APC was the political wing of the Boko Haram sect.
The Vice-President added,
“Secondly, the ruling party also somewhat cynically seemed to have considered that since BH attacks were actually in the heartland of the opposition it was not necessarily an unwelcome development as it could only weaken the opposition.
“Third, extensive corruption in arms procurement estimated at about $15bn, ensured that the military remained poorly equipped and demoralised.
“A number of well-publicised mutinies occurred and troops involved were taken through widely unpopular court-martials.
“As the government dithered and equivocated BH proceeded to realise the objective of occupying territory and establishing Islamist states in Nigeria and in the Lake Chad basin.
“In Borno State alone, it occupied and hoisted its flag in 20 of the 27 Local Government Areas that constituted the state. In Adamawa State, BH took Mubi and some villages in Yobe State.”
He said the strongest reasons for Buhari’s victory in the March 2015 presidential election was the expectation that going by his reputation as a no-nonsense soldier, he would defeat Boko Haram and restore peace to the North-East. He said within six months of Buhari’s Presidency, the sect had been effectively dislodged from all the local governments they once held.